A minister was opening his mail one morning. Drawing a single sheet of paper from an envelope, he found written on it only one word, “Fool”. The next Sunday he informed the congregation of the particular mail item and said, “I have known many people who have written letters and forgotten to sign their name. But this week I received a letter from someone who signed his name, but had forgotten to write a letter.”
Wingham Baptist Church was founded in 1863 and the KJV (King James Version) has been the only Bible officially used here since that time. The reason is because we believe this particular translation best preserves in the English the inspired Hebrew and Greek originals given by God to man (and painstakingly copied over the centuries). Now, if we thought another version was superior to the KJV, then we’d use that translation instead. However, when it comes to inspiration, it is so important to differentiate between what we mean by KJV preservation and what we don’t.
KJV – What We Do Mean By Preservation
Words – We do believe that every word given by God (from Moses in Genesis in the Old Testament to John in Revelation in the New Testament and all the other writers in between) is found in the King James Version. And not one word less or one word more. (see back)
Psalm 12:6,7 – The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
Matthew 4:4 – But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Revelation 22:18,19 – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these … And if any man shall take away from the words of the book…
KJV – What We Don’t Mean By Preservation
Punctuation – God gave the Bible at a time when there wasn’t grammatical punctuation in ancient languages. There were no spaces between words, no commas between phrases, no periods between sentences, or breaks between paragraphs. (This was done then to save parchment space.) But all the words of God were there, no more and no less. Thankfully, our KJV Bibles have punctuation for ease of reading; however, these marks come from the translators, not from God.
Capitalization – God gave the Bible at a time when there was no grammatical capitalization in ancient languages. Writing was neither done in the lower case or in the upper case. It was all written in the same size throughout. But all the words of God were there, no more and no less. Thankfully, our KJV Bibles have cases for ease of reading; however, these capitalizations come from the translators, not from God.
Spelling – God gave the Bible at a time when spelling was transitioning in the ancient world from regional variant phonologies to a more universal orthography, but still flux. We see this more in the New Testament than the Old, where for the same word there can be a minor spelling difference (think Canadian/American). But all the words of God were there, no more and no less. Thankfully, our KJV Bibles have modernized spelling for ease of reading; however, these phonetics come from the translators, not from God.
For instance, compare Matthew 28:19-20 in the KJV:
1611 – Goe ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Sonne, and of the holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
2020 – Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
Spelling – goe to go and Sonne to Son
Capital – Name to name and holy to Holy
Punctuate – things, whatsoever to things whatsoever
But all the words of God are there, no more and no less; a total of 49 in each verse. (see next column)
All this is important because there are those in the church today who call those who believe that God has preserved his holy inspired word in the King James Version foolish. They condescendingly point out all the differences in our modern 2020 KJV compared to the original 1611 KJV (which are quite numerous). “You call that ‘preserved’” they mock.
But not one of these differences involves words. As a matter of fact, if you were to sit down and count the total number of words in an original 1611 KJV and the total number of words in your modern KJV, you’d find them to be exactly the same tally. No, all the pointed-out differences are in the non-inspired areas: spelling, capitalization and punctuation.
The bottom line? The simple song has it exactly right. The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the Book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E. Or, Wonderful Words Of Life. Or, Ancient Words. Or, Thy Word Have I Hid In Mine Heart. Or, …